Monday, May 7, 2018

Dinner from Taqueria Viva Mexico Kitchen Cafe in Jersey City, NJ

One of my go-to orders now from Taqueria Viva is the torta, although my meat selection changes.  I think the most dependable choice is carnitas.  Their fries are also delicious and remind me of McDonald's but in a good way.  Also when we order for pick-up it's actually not a bad deal.  It's all the delivery fees that make it not worth it.
Torta Carnitas - Fried pork. Served with lettuce, tomato, avocado, beans, and french fries.  Also get with no mayo and jalapenos on the side for Dan

Brunch at Buddy Who's in Jersey City, NJ

My parents came on the earlier side so we decided to go to Buddy Who's for a close brunch.  The prices are so reasonable and the service was much better this time.  My dish wasn't that big, size wise, but the flavors were so bold that it felt like just the right size.  Both my parents had leftovers so safe to say that their portions were much larger.  Happy that they are continuing the outdoor seating as did many spots before it.  Happy to have them in the 'hood.
Chorizo guacamole benedict on a toasted baguette with hollandaise sauce and home fries.  The pieces of toast were actually pretty small but the guac and chorizo were so flavorful, plus the richness of the sauce

Smoked Salmon benedict - Toasted English Muffin and Hollandaise Sauce

Brunch Burrito - Eggs, Pico de Gallo, Jalapenos, Hash Browns, Avacado & Chedder.  Def better than Kitchen Step's version and cheaper

Dinner at Hard Grove in Jersey City, NJ

Dan and I went to Hard Grove for dinner.  I'm definitely not 100% positive if the management is different, but I can say the food was good but service quite slow, once again.  We were sitting outside and it took a long time to order and get everything.  Once we did, food was super tasty and mine was big enough to have some leftover for lunch.  The brunch we went to a few weeks ago was better service was, so may just depend what time you go and how crowded it is.  They have great happy hour deals so maybe, MAYBE will come back for that.
Specials that day

Red sangria and tropical.  Both great; just depends what you're in the mood for

Dan got the Churrasco Steak - tender marinated skirt steak with crispy shallots and chimichurri sauce

Side of maduros

Cuban Style pork chops - two center cut chops marinated in garlic and herbs plus mexican style corn salad, with rice and beans.  Beans not pictured b/c they forgot them at first so I had to start on some of Dan's until I got my own

Brunch at Kitchen Step in Jersey City, NJ

We met my parents for brunch at Kitchen Step.  We had to wait to get seated, and when we did, discovered it was insanely loud, and the food was just ehh.  This was my first time having brunch there, but my second meal.  Now I've confirmed the food is mediocre and just not worth it for me.  It's always crowded but I think more for the ambiance (and perhaps drinks) than the food.  The portions weren't that great for the price and the food honestly was nothing special.  It makes me sad to say because I loved the prior restaurant there, but I don't think I'll be coming back anytime soon.
Nutella Swirl Buttermilk Pancake - maple syrup, vermont butter & fresh fruit.  Was super thick, and legit like eating cake.  Dan could only get through about half

My mom got this super pretty salmon dish, which was essentially a pot of salmon over cucumbers with tiny chips.  Beautiful presentation but not very filling

Breakfast burrito -  scrambled eggs, manchego, avocado, black beans & salsa verde.  Mostly eggs and compared to other bbs in the hood, just okay

RD Burger - 8oz beef burger, aged cheddar, onion compote, bacon & herbed fries.  Of all the food, the biggest and probably most filling.  It was def a juicy burger but it wasn't that creative.  The onions were too big and texture wise was too much so I had to remove them

Close of this big boy

Brunch at Eden Local in NYC

We had book club at Eden Local.  Pretty far west but super cute farm-to-table spot in midtown.  Their online menu wasn't totally accurate but I was pleasantly surprised to discover they had the impossible burger!  I tried it and the flavor was awesome - very meat-like though it didn't bleed (not that I would've liked that).  The fries could've used salt, but I'm def on the impossible burger train.  Much pricer than the white castle slider version though.  I have to safe, the slider version is just as good esp if you just want to taste the plant-y flavor. 
Impossible burger with avocado and cheese

Dinner at Latham House in Jersey City, NJ

Dan and I went on a double date to Latham House, right before they changed their menu.  Dan got the insane chicken pot pie again, but I tried something new and loved it.
Gnocchi with duck confit and cream sauce . The gnocchi were super large and very potato-y. Seemed almost like giant tots but they were gnocchi.  The duck was tender.  Only wished there was more but the richness of the sauce made it just the right size

Bread pudding w/ice cream.  Too full for me to eat much of this

Dinner at SET LES in NYC

I met Nicole and Tracy in the Lower East Side for happy hour/dinner.  The place was super cute and trendy and def great for sharing.  Things I love - korean food, sharing, meat, small things.  This place hit all those marks!  Oh, plus cheap!  The only negative really was that it got kind of loud since they started showing the NFL draft, but by that point we were on our way out so it wasn't too bad.  They had delicious lychee martinis too that were part of the happy hour deal til 8.  A great spot!
Charbroiled Oysters (6) grilled oysters with garlic butter and parmesan cheese.  Can't go wrong

Cajun waffle fries.  Again, can't go wrong

Mix and match sliders.  Two Kalbi sliders (w/pickled carrots, sliced cucumber and sriracha mayo) and one soy glazed pork belly slider (w/sliced cucumber and tangy soy garlic sauce).  I enjoyed both but the kalbi was really flavorful and felt like a great amount of meat

Also did mix and match tacos.  My taco on the bottom was the banh mi chicken taco - Lemongrass Chicken w Pickled Carrots, Cucumbers, Cilantro & Sriracha Mayo.  Compared to my other proteins, this was less flavorful, but still delish